Coming Attractions



Celestial Events at the Cosmic Campground


About this Calendar

The natural night sky schedules events each month which are best viewed near new Moon. You don’t need any special equipment to witness many of them.This is the whole point of the Cosmic Campground and the International Dark Sky Association. 

The Cosmic Campground weekends are designated to answer the many questions about when is the best time to visit the Cosmic Campground. They are opportunities to meet other like minded people and perhaps to look through their telescopes.

If you bring binoculars or a small telescope it adds to the experience.  

If you have never witnessed the Milky Way rising over the Gila Wilderness it is hard to describe the panorama and feeling it brings. Try it.  The Cosmic Campground is nature’s IMAX theater in the round.

Walking about easily by star light is an experience.

Another series of nature's events are meteor showers.  They are truly spectacular and awe inspiring.

The zodiacal light is never seen by most people.  It is a pyramid of light in the west near the equinoxes.

To see bright stars rise and set is part of the natural environment.

Mars will be spectacularly bright and large and will peak it’s display at the end of July of 2018.

The Perseid Meteor shower will peak the night of August 12-13, 2018.

The Gemini Meteor shower will peak December 13-14, 2018.

The list goes on.   

Sky Weather

Viewing tips

The sky is best viewed when the Moon is not in the sky.
This happens in the early evening approximately from 
6 days before till 2 days After New Moon
Top tips for binocular stargazing

Milky Way Rising Over The Gila Wilderness Is Truly Awesome

Image Credit: David Thornburg


The summer of Mars.

The Red Planet arrives at opposition to the Sun on July 27 (meaning it lies on the opposite side of Earth) in the zodiacal constellation of Capricornus and visible from dusk to dawn and shining at an eye-popping magnitude of minus 2.8, a full four times brighter than Sirius, and more than twice as bright as mighty Jupiter! (See this Space.com guide to understand how the brightness of night-sky objects is measured.)

So bright does Mars become that between July 7 and Sept. 6 it will supplant Jupiter as the second brightest planet and become the third brightest object in the nighttime sky (next to the moon and Venus). Then on July 31 at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT), the planet will make its closest approach to Earth since its historically close approach in August 2003, when Mars was 34.8 million miles (56 million km) away from Earth. Mars' distance from Earth on July 31 will be 35.78 million miles (57.59 million km). Not until September 2035 will it come so close again.




New Moon September 9, 2018

Cosmic Campground Weekend September 7,8,9, 2018

Bring a friend, red filtered flashlight, shade, lawn chair, 
and telescope and binoculars if you have them. Make new friends
and enjoy the wonders of the night sky.

The Milky Way is truly Awesome

New Moon October 9, 2018

Cosmic Campground Weekend October 5,6,7, 2018

Bring a friend, red filtered flashlight, warm clothes, lawn chair, 
and telescope and binoculars if you have them. Make new friends
and enjoy the wonders of the night sky.




New Moon November 7, 2018

Cosmic Campground Weekend October November 2,3,4, 2018

Bring a friend, red filtered flashlight, warm clothes, lawn chair, 
and telescope and binoculars if you have them. Make new friends
and enjoy the wonders of the night sky.

November 4-5, 2018 South Taurids Meteor Shower

November 11-12, 2018 North Taurids Meteor Shower


New Moon December 7, 2018

Cosmic Campground Weekend October December 7,8,9, 2018

Bring a friend, red filtered flashlight, warm clothes, lawn chair, 
and telescope and binoculars if you have them. Make new friends
and enjoy the wonders of the night sky.

December 13/14 Geminid Meteor Shower

Dec. 13-14: A "Gem" of a meteor shower!

I have heard from people who constantly scan the sky for meteors that the Geminids of December are the best of the annual showers, surpassing even the August Perseids.

The Geminids are scheduled to reach their maximum late on the night of Dec. 13 and into the morning hours of the 14th, when nearly 100 slow, graceful meteors per hour may be seen under ideal dark-sky conditions. Viewers should wait until the nearly first-quarter moon sets during the mid-evening hours and look near the star Castor in Gemini. While a fair number of meteors should be visible after that time, the very best time to watch will be at around 2 a.m. local time. Expect small, faint meteors to dominate on the nights prior to the peak; during and after the peak, however, bright meteors and fireballs should appear.

Credit: The Top Skywatching Events to Look for in 2018


New Moon January 5, 2019 Saturday

Cosmic Campground Weekend January 4,5,6, 2019

Bring a friend, red filtered flashlight, very warm clothes, lawn chair, 
and telescope and binoculars if you have them. Make new friends
and enjoy the wonders of the night sky.


New Moon February 4, 2019 Monday



Back to Table of Contents

New Moon March 6, 2019 Wednesday



New Moon April 5, 2019 Friday 


New Moon May 4, 2019 Saturday



New Moon June 3, 2019 Monday




New Moon July 2, 2019 Tuesday




New Moon July 31, 2019 Wednesday



New Moon September 28, 2019 Saturday



New Moon October 27, 2019 Sunday




New Moon December 25, 2019 Wednesday







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